Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Why my birthday matters.

Over the last few years, I have felt much of the excitement and fervor with which I used to look forward to my birthdays diminishing. I think it is a combination of the world's cynicism rubbing on me as well as the exhaustion of expectations. I still go through the moves though, mostly for the sake of nostalgia as well as a certain belief that this one day I should earmark for happiness and as much joy as possible.

Sometimes, my birthdays have been very disappointing and it has marred the perfection of my memories. I think it was my 18th birthday where I truly understood the role that others play in making your birthday special. I remember my friend Saumya waiting outside my house and how I didn't want to talk to anyone and meet anyone because this one friend who SHOULD have been there was not there. With the added pressures of my mother and the exuberance of some very very committed friends, I had a spontaneous party at home and everyone whom we called showed up and I felt so loved. I decided that year, that you should always choose to be happy on your birthday and that would ensure that you actually are happy.

As I have aged, I decided that what was more important was that the people who show up have a good time. It had to be simple and low key enough that these people would want to come back again. It became infinitely more important to actually have people who loved you come and see you than all the other me-centric ideas I might have harboured in my teens.

It is a tough world however, to continue to be excited about the prospect of your birthday. You keep getting older, your happiness takes on this pastel-y overtone and it is tough to fight off your own cynicism. Then the routines you invested so much in earlier are interrupted by people moving or getting married or worse you meeting new people and trying to adjust them into this matrix. It is tough to plan a party and the depression that comes with it makes me feel a lot like Mrs Dalloway.

So now the biggest thing I look forward to on my birthdays is to have at least one person around me who I love and who loves me back.  Even if it is not the party extravaganza that my birthdays used to be, even if it is not a 3 day event. Now I am merely thankful that someone who loves me and you know, didn't birth me is around to say happy birthday.

So there ! Birthdays don't matter, I get that. I have bought into your arguments, the rest of you unbelievers. But I continue to be so much more excited than the rest of you, because I earmark this one event in my life where I decide that it is worth to invest in people, worth to go out and worth to be happy because you were born. I expect you to not forget and write to me and wish me, just as I would never forget yours.

I am the best birthday to be excited about. Your participation in one birthday of mine will ensure that I remember your kindness for the next several birthdays of yours. And trust me, I will make you feel warm and loved, even if I have to wade through the sludge of all your cynicism and disbelief.

This birthday I have ensured that I will have people around me who really love. It is getting tiring to do all this arm twisting and emotional maneuvering. But as long as you are there peeps, I have won.

P.S. This is why Isha, I am offended that we did not meet on your birthday. Not because you didn't meet me, but because I did not make more of an effort to see you. I am the last unicorn. I don't want to shave off my horn and join the rest of you in your disbelief and conjectures about it being 'just a fucking birthday'.